RIoT, the Triangle-based Internet of Things group pushing IoT development, plans to launch an accelerator program targeting “disruptive technologies” after landing a $500,000 federal grant.
The new initiative will be called the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP).
The aim of the project is to create 96 startups, generate 200 jobs and generate more than $10 million in private investments, according to the award.
The federal grant nearly matches a nearly $593,000 pledged to the project by RIoT and supporters, according to the federal announcement.
With the funds, RIoT said it would add staff and prepare to launch RAP in 2018.
“We are excited to have been selected from a deep pool of applicants,” said Larry Steffann, founder of RIoT and General Manager of the Wireless Research Center of NC in Wake Forest. “It is a testament to the strong ecosystem in North Carolina and the corporate, government and university partners that have worked together with RIoT in our efforts.”
The grant, which covers three years, was awarded through the Department of Commerce and its Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.
This EDA investment will support RIoT and its ecosystem partners and stakeholders in creating an accelerator program to drive innovation, commercialization and market execution of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP) will facilitate entrepreneurship end-to-end from academic research and education through to rapid commercial growth. RAP will provide access to the technology services industry vital to executing large commercial projects and seed investor capital necessary to launch new products and services to market. Once complete, the program anticipates improved efficiencies to enable them to work with more companies, as well as anticipated impacts of 96 new startups created, 200 new jobs created, and $10.1 million in private investments.
“The Trump Administration is committed to strengthening U.S. production and exports, which are essential to our nation’s economic growth,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in the announcement.
“These projects will enable entrepreneurs in communities across the United states to start new businesses, manufacture innovative products, and export them throughout the world – increasing America’s global competitiveness.”
More than 200 organizations applied for the grants.
RIoT touts itself as the largest Internet of Things and disruptive technology economic development organization in the country with more than 50 corporate sponsors, several university and government partners, and more than 5,000 members.
It already sponsors RIoT Labs at which startups and entrepreneurs can develop prototypes and test products while working with RIoT members.
The Launch Place and NC IDEA supported the RIoT bid.
“You cannot be successful without strong partners,” Snyder said. “I’ve worked around the world and no know place with a better balance of talent, research and industry for IoT to thrive than North Carolina.”
Last year, NCIDEA awarded RIoT a $100,000 grant for expansion of its program.